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B.C. seeks public input on cannabis consumption spaces

Press Release

April 6, 2022

VICTORIA – British Columbians are invited to share their thoughts on non-medical cannabis consumption spaces.

The Province is launching an online public engagement about cannabis consumption spaces to help inform decisions about whether to permit these spaces and how they could be regulated. The engagement runs April 6 to May 8, 2022.

“Cannabis consumption space” is a term for a business or special event that provides cannabis for on-site sale and use. Examples include cafes, lounges, concerts or festivals, ticketed events and spas.

“We have heard from cannabis businesses that consumption spaces could provide an opportunity for the sector to become more economically viable and could better meet the interests of people who use cannabis,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General. “At the same time, others have raised public health and safety concerns, which will need to be carefully weighed. We want to hear the views of all British Columbians so they can help shape how B.C.’s cannabis sector continues to evolve.”

If allowed, consumption spaces would need to align with provincial public health and safety objectives. For example, indoor smoking and vaping would continue to be prohibited. The provincial cannabis framework includes a key role for Indigenous and local governments in determining whether and where licensed cannabis sales can take place in their communities. This approach would also apply to cannabis consumption spaces.

The Province is seeking input on a wide range of activities and considerations. More information on cannabis consumption spaces, the engagement process and a link to the engagement survey can be found at: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/cannabisconsumptionspaces/

A What We Heard report summarizing the results of the engagement will be released later this year.

Learn More:

Learn more about cannabis consumption spaces and provide feedback through the engagement website: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/cannabisconsumptionspaces/

For more information on cannabis regulation in B.C., visit: https://www.cannabis.gov.bc.ca

For more information on the federal cannabis framework, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/health/campaigns/cannabis/industry.html

For a map showing the locations of cannabis retail stores in B.C., visit: https://justice.gov.bc.ca/lcrb/map

A backgrounder follows.

Contact:

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Media Relations
250 213-3602


BACKGROUNDER

Cannabis in B.C.

  • Non-medical cannabis was legalized in B.C. in October 2018.
  • Cannabis can be legally purchased from licensed private non-medical cannabis stores, publicly run BC Cannabis Stores or stores authorized to sell cannabis through a government-to-government agreement with an Indigenous Nation.
  • There were 426 licensed cannabis retail stores in B.C. at the end of 2021.
  • In 2021, B.C.’s cannabis stores saw $554 million in sales, up from $370 million the previous year.
  • Almost one-third of British Columbians 19 and older report having used cannabis in the past year.
  • The Province is continually monitoring the impact of cannabis legalization on the health and safety of British Columbians.
  • The results of the 2021 B.C. Cannabis Use Survey, which surveyed almost 25,000 British Columbians, will be published this spring.

Contact:

Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Media Relations
250 213-3602

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: news.gov.bc.ca/connect

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